Lots of people posting today about the situation in Baltimore. The more articles and opinions I read, the more video clips I watch, the more I am driven to the same conclusion:
For those of us not in Baltimore, not involved in the riots, not members of Freddie Gray’s family, not employed by the Baltimore Police Department, the most powerful tool we have is compassion. We must reflect upon our role in and also our distance from the situation. We must acknowledge that people on both sides are hurting. We must find the line between voicing our opinions and leaving space for those at the epicenter of the hurt to reach out to us for help, guidance, and empathy. We must support the Police for the safety they facilitate in our world, and remember that each actor in Freddie Gray’s story was an individual. We must support those who are in search of justice, on both sides, and support the people who are willing to acknowledge and change systemic problems in our governing bodies.
In this moment, I ask my God to use His powers of healing and powers of guidance to lift up those with the right intentions. I ask Him to give me the composure to stay positive and level headed as I witness from afar (albeit not that far). As I pray for peace today as every day, I ask God to pay extra attention to Baltimore and other places like it, to actualize His role as “הָרֹפֵא לִשְׁבוּרֵי לֵב” – “the Healer of Broken Hearts” (Ps. 147:3).
I hold before me this kavanah – this intention: Today, God, help me to look within, isolate honestly and modify my own prejudices, dig deeper and wonder about my own ability to cause damage. In knowing myself more fully, I can better affect positive change around me. Help me actualize my own ability to make a difference.